MONTAUK SPORTFISHING REPORTS

 

If you would like to receive these weekly reports directly, just drop me a line at captaingene@montauksportfishing.com and Ill put you on the list.And, for more information about fishing in Montauk, go to montauksportfishing.com

FOR SALE: Murry Brothers fighting chair. Good condition. Call 631 668 2019

 

12/17/08

 

It’s all over but the shouting, and that’s getting kind of faint.

The bass season ended Monday, but in reality it’s been over for a couple of weeks. I spoke to a captain who made his last trip on Sunday and they never caught a herring or bass. The blackfish season ends on Saturday, but it’s still going strong, with the couple of boats doing it coming back with great mixed bags of blacks, seabass and cod, fishing south of Block Island.

There’re not many boats left in the water, and most of them will be getting hauled soon. The CAPT MARK will be in over the winter for you diehards, taking both charters and sailing on a per person basis throughout the winter, and the VIKING will be sailing select days through December and then starting up with cod trips the end of January.

I went to the fishery meeting held at Gurney’s last week (at least the fluke portion), and it looks like the fluke regs will be a little tighter next season. The New York delegation wanted to have a uniform set of regs throughout all the states, but that got shot down. For it to pass all the other states would have had to vote to tighten their regs in order to loosen ours, and that wasn’t going to happen.

This past  season was kind of a mixed bag. The inshore fishing was better than expected. Stripers never slowed down once it got started in mid May. The fall was better than last year, but the herring run was nothing to write home about. They were here and you could catch medium sized bass using them. But you could do just as well jigging the ‘chutes. The  fluke were a big surprise. I don’t know anybody who thought we’d have the amount of keepers that we had and there were tons of shorts available. It took a while to get going, but once it did it was fine.

Offshore, the shark fishing was OK, but the tuna fishing was a disaster. For a while there were some school bluefins southeast of the island, but with a two fish per boat limit, not many guys were chasing them, except for a little early trolling before going sharking. But with the fuel prices and good sharking close by, the run to them didn’t make too much sense. And the canyon? Forget it. You had to be a real masochist to go out there, although some boats had occasional good trips, thanks to the marlin.

I was curious as to what would happen to the CRICKET after Frank Mundus died. Now I know. It was hauled out at Uhleins’s and I figured it would die there, but I was wrong. It’s been taken back to Plainview to be auctioned off. It opened up for bids on January 14 and run until February 4, with a minimum bid of $25000. For more info you can go to http://www.maltzauctions.com.   

The final is the Locals Surf Contest are as follows;

WADERS DIVISION
1st Place: Willy Young - 52.12 lbs
2nd Place: Mark Foschi - 42.38 lbs
3rd Place: Gary “Toad” Stephens - 38.70 lbs
LADY’S DIVISION
1st Place: Loretta Sears - 18.08 lbs
2nd Place: Loretta Sears - 17.92 lbs
3rd Place: Cheryl Lackner - 15:84 lbs
WETSUIT DIVISION
1st Place: Fred Kalkstein  - 41.62 lbs
2nd Place Mike Milano - 36.86 lbs
2nd Place: Brian Ritter - 40.94 lbs
YOUTH’S DIVISION
1st Place: Taylor Harned - 37.12 lbs
2nd Place: Ben McCarron - 25:34 lbs
3rd Place: Jonathan Pharaoh - 20.58 lbs
KID’S DIVISION
1st Place: Dylan Linick - 12.50 lbs
2nd Place James Kim - 12.14 lbs
3rd Place Griffin Kim - 11.86 lbs

Tropic Star in Panama continues to come up with cancellations. It’s a fantastic place, and if you have the $$$ and want the fishing adventure of a lifetime, give me a call.

12/1/8

 

Marty MacMillan who ran his XIAO MU JI out of West Lake, fell overboard and drowned over at Southwest Ledge on Sunday morning. It’s not clear to me exactly what happened, but it seems like he was pulling a lobster pot warp that had gotten tangled in his anchor when he he slipped and fell and was pulled under. Capt John DeMaio who was fishing nearby picked him up and applied CPR, but it didn’t work.  

The herring are here bigtime. The drill is to drift around outside the inlet and catch up a hundred or so and then go down to the rips and catch bass. For the most part the bass are 10-20 pounds. There has been no showing of birds. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Council is holding it’s regular meeting at Gurney’s on Tuesday to discuss fluke, porgie & sea bass. Want to get something off your chest? Come on out.

The surfcaster are still doing all right, with the sharpies picking away at fish in the 20’s. The following are the current standings in the Local’s contest;

WADERS DIVISION
1st Place: Willy Young - 52.12 lbs
2nd Place: Mark Foschi - 42.38 lbs
3rd Place: Gary “Toad” Stephens - 38.70 lbs
LADY’S DIVISION
1st Place: Loretta Sears - 18.08 lbs
2nd Place: Loretta Sears - 17.92 lbs
3rd Place: Cheryl Lackner - 15:84 lbs
WETSUIT DIVISION
1st Place: Fred Kalkstein  - 41.62 lbs
2nd Place Mike Milano - 36.86 lbs
2nd Place: Brian Ritter - 40.94 lbs
YOUTH’S DIVISION
1st Place: Taylor Harned - 37.12 lbs
2nd Place: Ben McCarron - 25:34 lbs
3rd Place: Jonathan Pharaoh - 20.58 lbs
KID’S DIVISION
1st Place: Dylan Linick - 12.50 lbs
2nd Place James Kim - 12.14 lbs
3rd Place Griffin Kim - 11.86 lbs

Tropic Star has had a cancellation for the week of Jan 27-Feb 3. If you are interested, give me a call, ASAP.

11/24/08

 I took a look in my wife’s garden over the weekend and noticed that the pumpkins are all kind of frosty, and, funny thing, they all seemed to be leaning over to the south.

I ran into Capt Mike Vigessi at Gaviola’s’ a couple of times this past week when I was getting my morning bagel. That’s kind of unusual because I’m usually there when he is usually pulling away from the dock. He hasn’t sailed for nine days straight, the longest such stretch he’s ever had.

Friday was the only day that any boats were able to sail, and they all caught striped bass, up to about twelve pounds or so. They also found some bluefish, the ones we refer to as “Cartwright Blues”. The waters are getting cold, so they should be out of here fairly soon.

People keep asking about the herring run, even though they haven’t meant anything as far as the stripes are concerned for a couple of years. Well, there are some in the harbor, so we should start to see a larger body of them in the next week or so.

Blackfishing is holding up great, maybe the best in years, but the fishing has shifted over to Block Island from Fishers Island.

The surfcaster are still doing all right, with the sharpies picking away at fish in the 20’s. The following are the current standings in the Local’s contest;

WADERS DIVISION
1st Place: Willy Young - 52.12 lbs
2nd Place: Mark Foschi - 42.38 lbs
3rd Place: Gary “Toad” Stephens - 38.70 lbs
 
LADY’S DIVISION
1st Place: Loretta Sears - 18.08 lbs
2nd Place: Loretta Sears - 17.92 lbs
3rd Place: Cheryl Lackner - 15:84 lbs
 
WETSUIT DIVISION
1st Place: Fred Kalkstein  - 41.62 lbs
2nd Place: Brian Ritter - 40.94 lbs
 
YOUTH’S DIVISION
1st Place: Taylor Harned - 37.12 lbs
2nd Place: Ben McCarron - 25:34 lbs
3rd Place: Jonathan Pharaoh - 20.58 lbs
 
KID’S DIVISION
1st Place: Dylan Linick - 12.50 lbs
2nd Place James Kim - 12.14 lbs
3rd Place Griffin Kim - 11.86 lbs
 
The financial crises has been having an effect on the winter fishing. Tropic Star Lodge in Panama is usually booked up for the winter months a year in advance. This year they are having some cancellations. They expect the final payments sixty days in advance, so that’s when they find out about them. Right now there are two boats available for Jan 31- Feb 2. If you are interested, give me a call ASAP because they won’t last more than a couple of days.

 

11/3/08

 

Captain Bob Tuma, the last of the real “old timers”, died Saturday. He fished the 2007 season, but was diagnosed with cancer that winter. Bob had flown a fighter plane off carrier decks in World War II, returned to go to college and had fished steadily in Montauk ever since.

I got to go fishing this past week. A friends son couldn’t work for a couple of days, so I mated on a few half day trips. We spent both trips mostly casting with spinning rods, and caught thousands of fish (or so it seemed), but it was pretty frustrating. We would pull up alongside schools of bass so thick that I could’ve netted  them, but every cast only produced bluefish. The bass were fixated on bait only about a half inch long and didn’t want anything else. We did manage to troll up some fish, but all had to be measured, and we only kept a couple. Last November the fishing was kind of crappy, with only small fish around. Hopefully some better fish will move in soon.

 

10/27/08

Here’s a little update for you.

Fishing is pretty much about what you expect at this time of year. Striped bass fishing is very good. The size of the fishare down a bit from what was being caught a week or so back, but most are still 12 -15 pounds. And, there are too manybluefish around. This will probably continue to be the case for another two or three weeks. The falsies are gone.

Bottom fishing for blackfish is very good, with most boats that are fishing for them are running over to Fishers Island. That works out well with the weather too, since we get so much northerly breeze this time of year and the fishing is in the lee of the island. Seabass are over at Block Island, and the blackfishing there will probably get started in another two weeks or so. Porgies are done, except for the VIKING, which has a set-aside. That means they gave the government $$$ to  buy a certain amount of porgies all for themselves, and they can keep fishing for them until that quota is used up. They have to report how many fish they catch on each trip, and somehow the amount of fish they bought will most probably last until the porgies are gone.

 The surfcaster are having a fine fall, as evidenced by the standings in the Local’s contest. They are as follows;

WADERS DIVISION
1st Place: Willy Young - 52.12 lbs
2nd Place: Mark Foschi - 42.38 lbs
3rd Place: Gary “Toad”Stephens - 38.70 lbs

LADY’S DIVISION
1st Place: Loretta Sears - 18.08 lbs
2nd Place: Cheryl Lackner - 15.84 lb
3rd Place: Loretta Sears - 13.08 lb

WETSUIT DIVISION
1st place: Brian Ritter - 40.94 lbs

YOUTH’S DIVISION
1st Place: Taylor Harned - 37.12 lbs
2nd Place : Ben McCarron - 25.34 lbs
3rd Place: Zen Angelidis - 19.32 lbs

KID’S DIVISION
1st Place: Dylan Linick - 12.50 lbs
2nd Place James Kim - 12.14 lbs
3rd Place Griffin Kim - 11.86 lbs

 

10/6/08

 Based on the amount of boats fishing around the point on Saturday, I’d have to say that the “Fall run” is on. It was a zoo! All the parking lots in the marinas were full, in fact West Lake was overfull with their front lawn also loaded with cars out to the road. The West Lake ramp had trailers parked cheek to jowl all the way out on the left side and three-quarters out on the other side. And, just about everybody caught bass. Anyone who didn’t has to start practicing a little more because they were doing something wrong. 

The Stephen Sloan Memorial shark tournament was held over the weekend. This contest is based on an existing private tournament organized by Steve a number of years ago called the “Yanks Vs Brits”, with an all release format. The winner is determined by points, with two hundred points for a blueshark and four hundred for a mako. Each boat had an observer on board to make sure that everything was done by strict IGFA rules. The results are as follows:

TIGER SHARK - 1400 points
CHRISTOPHER H - 1200 points
MY MATE - 800 points

There’s not much top report on the tuna fishing except a rumor about the bluefins up to 300 pounds stacking up behind the draggers working fifteen miles out from Shinnecock. If this is true, they’re moving pretty fast and it probably won’t do you much good, since they might be off Fire Island by the time you get out there. Paulies Tackle Shop held their surf comets over the weekend, and it was blown away by Willie Young’s 52 lb bass. He took first place in it as well as the lead in the Local’s contest, which runs until December 1. The rest of the results are as follows;
Mike Coppola - 26.42 lbs
Gary “Toad” Stephens - 23.00 lbs
Bluefish Zeb Perinhas - 14.10 lbs
Joe Tserpelis - 8.82 lbs
Ed Grabow - 8.58 lbs

It appears that I was wrong last week about the falsies being gone. They’re still here as of Saturday.  

I also screwed up on the report about the five surfcasters being washed off Shagwong. There were five guys rescued all right, but they weren’t surfcasters. They were out paddling some kind of a Hawaiian canoe and got swamped. I guess our waves are bigger than the ones in Hawaii.

I’m done for the year. The boss is gone and I’m hauling out this week, so I might get a little erratic with the reports from now through the rest of the season. I’m going to start concentrating on updating the website dealing with trips to Central America. If you’re looking for a warm place to fish this winter, check it out at tropicalfishing.com/tropical.htm, or give me a call and we’ll BS about it a bit.  

 

9/29/08

 That was a pretty crappy week. East winds all week capped off by a small gale with lots of wind on Friday, and finally a lousy forecast for Saturday that caused a bunch of charters to get canceled, including three of mine. Friday when I talked to the client I told him there was no way that they were going to be able to get out Saturday morning. Saturday morning I woke up and got sick when I looked at my wind-o-meter and it said zero. I took a ride down to the Light and saw ideal conditions, no wind and flat seas although with a bit of a heave. Then I took a pass by the various marinas and saw that only a half dozen boats had sailed. At least I wasn’t the only dummy who listened to the weather guy.

Sunday when “Ike” passed by we got some mega swells, with breakers on the Elbow and the outer buoy. Plus, five surfcasters, whose eyes light up with lousy conditions, had their eyes get even wider when they were swept off the bar at Shagwong. Luckily they all got picked up by boats.

And, the bass bit kind of ferociously both on Saturday and Sunday. Albies are a different story and may have been blown away.

The Montauk Classic was held over the weekend, and the results are as follows;
Greg Flanagan - 36.18 lb striper
Leighton Campbell - 35.70 lb striper
Rich Hacker - 33 .12 lb striper
Richard Warren - 12.66 lb bluefish
Tom Kallenbach - 11.34 lb bluefish
Barbara Kallenbach - 10.70 lb bluefish

The Old Harbor Outfitters were to have an offshore tournament this past weekend, but that was blown out for the second year in a row, I don’t see the wisdom in scheduling an offshore tournament this late in the season, but the Stephen Sloan Memorial Shark Tournament will be held at Star Island this weekend. This is something a little different, with an all release format similar to some major billfish tournaments, with an observer on each boat to make sure that everyone sticks to the Marquise of Queensbury rules. I’m sure that they’ll do fine with the sharks.

Paulies’ Tackle shop is holding its striped bass tournament this weekend, so there is a segment of anglers praying for lousy weather while another segment is looking for good weather.

I’m not so sure about tuna, since no one has been offshore for over a week now. Anyone who has to go after tuna is sure to be scratching his head wondering where to go and what kind he should aim for.

Porgy fishing is closed for the regular people, but charter and head boats have until October 15. So, if you want to fish for bass using the scup, you have to go on a licensed boat. That means one that is registered with New York State as a party or charter boat, not just some guy who has a captains license.

 

 

9/22/08

 

Today is the official start of fall, and it looks it outside. But for me, fall started Saturday when I went to Gaviola’s and all the winners from the 2007 Local’s Surf contest had been wiped clean.

Offshore fishing got a little interesting this past week when some bluefins started showing around the 650 line. The fish that were caught varied from 35 pounds to 100+ pounds and were caught both trolling and chunking. But, the weather is starting to play a big part. Thursday was good and a number of boats caught fish. Friday no one went. Saturday was marginal at best and I only know of one boat that went out there. He couldn’t get any bait from the one dragger that was there because the birds got the trash first, he couldn’t chunk because of the numbers of bluesharks, so he trolled all day, but only got one 40 pounder. Sunday the weather was good and I understand some fish were caught, but more boats stayed closer and did well with the sharks. I did hear of one fish around 50 inches being taken, and I suspect there were more.

The marine weather forecast for this week is as follows;
Tuesday- NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft.  
Tuesday Night- NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft.  
Wednesday - E winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft.  
Wednesday Night - E winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft.
Thursday - E winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 7 to 10 ft.
Friday - NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 9 to 12 ft. A chance of showers

There has been a bill introduced to get us out of the TWIC requirement. It was written by Senator Coleman and is S.3377.  There is opposition to this bill and the only way it will be adopted is if you call your Congressman and/or Senator and say you fully support Senator Coleman’s bill They are going to vote on this before they leave session which is in the next few days so please do what you can to help  get this bill passed.

9/15/08

 Shark fishing is supposed to be good this time of year, but judging by Saturday, it’s not. More boats came back as dummies than caught anything. I assume this was just a slight glitch. Earlier in the week the HALFBACK had a good trip with a 505 pound mako along with a blueshark, smaller mako and a nice mahi. But he wasn’t fishing locally. He made a run down toward the Dump for his fish. Curiously, the mako was a male and possibly the largest male mako on record.

Further offshore there seems to be slight (very slight) improvement with some albacore finally showing up. Most of the summer the main action, (what there was of it) was out over the Edge, but now there are some fish in by the 450 line.

Inshore the bass action continues excellent, although some of the charter captains are complaining about the crowds. Most of the fish are in one area close to shore and there are too many boats doing different things making the fishing difficult. But they are all coming back with their limits.

The falsies are showing up, so that should keep the flyguys happy. And, the surfcasters are starting to show up in droves. This is their time to shine. And, the Locals Surfcasting Tournament starts this Friday and lasts until December 1.

Capt Frank Mundus passed away this past week. He had spent most of the summer in our area, hanging out with the CRICKET in Riverhead at the aquarium, finally bringing the boat back to it’s old slip at the Viking Dock the end of last month. He went home to Hawaii and when he got there had a problem, and was taken to the hospital where he died.   

 

9/8/08

 Half a hurricane HANNA sure messed up the weekend, but it wasn’t the storm as much as the timing of the forecast. When I saw that it was supposed to hit land around 2:00 am Friday down in the Carolinas, I figured there was no way it would get to us by Saturday morning, and for a change I was right. In fact the conditions were great all day Saturday except for a brief downpour around 3:00 pm. But, hardly anybody sailed. Then the question was how would it affect the fishing after it passed? That was answered by the few boats that fished Sunday morning that came back with fine catches of stripers. The next question is how did it affect the offshore fishing, and we won’t know that for a couple of days. However, it can’t really hurt it that much since it’s been pretty poor all summer.

It brought back memories of the 80’s when we were tuna fishing on the West Bank all summer. There was a small hurricane heading our way that was supposed to pass offshore of us in the afternoon. But the fishing had been so good that we all figured we’d get out in the morning, catch our load and be back at the dock before it even got close. Wrong! The tuna didn’t bite that day and we all got our ass kicked coming home.

The closing of the fluke season gave a bunch of the head boat guys a bit of a vacation, with hardly any of them sailing all week. There is only so much of a demand for porgies and seabass. They are going to have to get out their diamond jigs and get going on the blues and bass.  From LAZYBONES:

This will be short and sweet as we fished both trips for sea bass and porgies all week. We will continue to fish for these species and then will switch to striped bass and blues starting Sat. Sept. 13th. Trips will be from 8 A.M. till 12 and then from 1 P.M. till 5 everyday until Dec. 15th. Call for reservations.

Had some nice size porgies up to 3 lbs. and sea bass up to 4 1/4 lbs. There was plenty of action as there were some small sea bass and porgies mixed in. We even managed to get some nice size fluke up to 5 lbs. which of course we threw back. Pretty much everybody came off the boat with a nice mixed bag of fish.

9/2/08

 OK, boys and girls, you can pack up your spinners, silver, bullets, sproat bucktails and all the other fancy stuff you use for fluke. The season is over as of today (Labor Day). And, it was a pretty damn good one. Coming into the season most of us though it was going to be a bust because of the new regs. But we were wrong. There were tons of keepers caught throughout the season along with even more throwbacks. And the action lasted right up to the end. In past seasons by mid August the action was winding down.

Writing about the striped bass fishing is getting boring. It’s always the same. The fishing is great, and has been all summer. A couple of charterboat guys told me the same thing this week. All their trips are the same. They start out with the parachutes and after forty-five minutes to an hour they have their limits, putting them in the live well. Then they switch to the big tubes and spend the rest of the trip upgrading.

Offshore is still in the doldrums. A typical overnight trip might catch a bigeye, swordfish or mako at night and a yellowfin on the troll. Or more likely “none of the above”. The charter boats that have offshore tuna trips booked are kind of torn. None of them want to go out there, But neither do they want to lose a day’s (or two) pay. They prefer to talk their clients into switching to a shark or bass trip. But what about the group that wants tuna or nothing. If they tell them the fishing sucks, will they wind up bailing out on the trip altogether?  

The shark fishing seems to be improving slowly with the water cooling off a bit. Now boats are looking for a couple of bites a day. Most of the makos being taken are less than a hundred pounds, but that will probably start to change. Also, the bluesharks are starting to get more common. Friday the HURRY UP got three makos. The largest, 175 pounds they kept.

There are a couple of offshore tournaments coming up this fall that not many people are aware of.

The first is the Old Harbor Outfitters Shootout, to be held at the Montauk Marine Basin September 26, 27 & 28. It is for the canyon guys and has cash prizes for tuna, swordfish, mahi & wahoo. You have an option of fishing two days out of the three or one overnighter. For more info call the Marine Basin at 631 668 5900.  

The second is the Stephen Sloan Memorial Shark Tournament, a strictly tag and release affair. Like some of the world famous billfish tournaments, an observer will be aboard each boat to record the catches and to make sure everything is done by IGFA rules. In addition to the cash prizes and fishing trips to exotic locations for the top three teams, there will be the standard calcuttas. I’m interested to see how much attention this contest will get. It will be held October 4 & 5, and for more information call Mike O’Reilly at 631 289 5500.

Early in the week there was some excitement at the Coast Guard dock, when the TOP HOOK got escorted in and met by a mob scene of people. By the late afternoon word got out that he had found a dead body all wrapped up canvas and cement blocks. After lots of investigation it turned out to be a dog that somebody had buried at sea.

I got an e-mail this past week from Capt Anthony Mendillo, who has a couple of charterboats at Isla Mujeres in Mexico. This past winter he had people from National Geographics magazine (the one you read in the dentist’s office) with him doing an article on sailfish working on bait balls. The article is in the September issue and a teaser for it is at  http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/sailfish/holland-text  Check it out. The photos by Paul Nicklen and Goran Ehlme are spectacular.

 From the LAZYBONES;

Mon. A.M. saw 14 keepers with the pool going to Tony P. with his fluke at 6 lbs. P.M. trip saw quite a few sea bass and porgies mixed in but pool honors went to Timmy the Turtle with a 5 lber.

Tues. A.M. had 20 keepers and a 7 1/4 lber. won the pool by Bob Canzoneri. Chris Gray limited out with fish up to 6 3/4 lbs. A-Team Bob had a nice fish at 7 lbs. and T.C.G. had one at 6 1/2 lbs. P.M. trip yielded 22 keepers and Jeff Carpenter had the pool with his fish at 7 lbs. Chris Gray had 8 keepers for the day, retaining his limit, with fish up to 6 1/2 lbs.

Wed. A.M. had 24 keepers coming over the rails and first time fisher-woman Millie Harrison had the pool with her nice fish at 7 lbs. P.M. trip had 12 keepers and the pool was won by Donald Klenke with a  fish at 5 lbs.

Thurs. A.M. had 14 keepers and T.C.G. managed to win the pool with his fish at 7.4 lbs. and Vinny Vanacore was not far behind with his fish at 7 lbs. P.M. trip had 7 keepers and Jeff Carpenter once again won the pool with a fish at 6 3/4 lbs. and 14 y/o Chris Fiorillo had one at 6 1/2 lbs.

Fri. A.M. had 13 keepers and the pool winner was Joe Casablanca with his fish at 6 1/2 lbs.P.M. trip was slow with only 5 keepers, but Chris Gray won with his fish at 5 lbs. Sat. all day was very picky and slow. A.M. pool was won by Jimmy the lifeguard Janicek with a 6 lber.

Sun. A.M. turned out to be a good morning with 17 keepers and the pool was won by Gary Edlund  with his fish weighing in at 5 1/4 lbs.

8/25/08

 If you are looking for tuna, the best place to go is the IGA. They have them there in little cans. At least there you are sure about coming home with something. The same can’t be said of looking for them with a boat. There are probably more white marlin being caught out on the edge than tuna. Most boats are coming back with having had a bite, even on overnighters. There are occasional bluefins being taken southeast of Block Island, but again most boats are not getting a sniff. I heard a rumor about some bluefins being taken up close to Southeast Light, but couldn’t nail it down.

 

Shark fishing continues slow, but if you get a bite it is as likely a mako as anything else, although it’s not likely to be very big. Anywhere from two to five - feet that is.

Inshore the fluke season is winding down, but not because of lack of fish. The season ends September 1. There is a movement to have it extended, but I doubt that will happen. Right now the numbers might be down a bit, but the quality of the fish is holding up nicely, so fish fast.

Boat limits are the norm with the striped bass, with lots of twenty to thirty pounders taken by most boats. Trolling works,  diamond jigs work and porgies work, but use legal ones or keep watching your back. Or listening to channel nineteen for any warnings.

From LAZYBONES: Here are the highlights of our fishing trips for the week. Mostly all fluke, with a few exceptions, were caught on boat rods with just bait and a plain hook!

Mondays trips were slow keeper wise but the action was there. Mon. P.M. trip had 76 y/o Gloria DiPaolo win the pool with her fish at 4 1/2 lbs.

Tues. A.M. trip had 9 keepers with the pool being tied at 5 lbs. each for 6 y/o Jacob Hirsch and Claire Hughes. P.M. trip had 8 keepers and Bob Lee won the pool with a 5 lber.  

Wed. A.M. trip was slow but, Rebecca Vegessi took a bus mans holiday on her dads boat and caught a nice fish at 8.1 lbs. P.M. trip had 5 keepers and Coach Tom Flanagan won with his fish at 6 lbs.  

Thurs. A.M. saw 12 keepers with the pool fish at  an impressive 10 1/2 lbs. caught by Angel Torres and Dave Franz had two nice fish at 6 and 4 lbs. respectively. P.M. produced 5 keepers and Renee Toussel had pool honors with her fish at 6 lbs.

Fri. A.M. saw 11 keepers and Laura Bessen-Nichtberger won the pool with her fish at 6 lbs. and Patty Olmstead finally got her first keeper at 5 1/4 lbs. P.M. yielded 18 keepers and a 5 lber. won the pool with Chris Paulsen taking the honors.

Sat. A.M. had 5 kepers and Ron Connors took the pool with a fish at 5 lbs. P.M. trip had 6 keepers and they all looked as if they came out of the same mold. However, Kevin Casciotta won by a hair with his fish at 4 1/4 lbs.

Sun. A.M. had 8 keepers come over the rails and good old Chris Gray redeemed himself by catching a 8.6 lber. and 11 y/o James LaFrance had one at 5 lbs.

 

8/18/08

 

I’m a little out of touch this week since I spent most of it working on a boat problem The port engine didn’t suck. I had to install a new suction tube in the fuel tank, and with only one welder in town it got to be a pretty big deal. But it’s working now.

The fluke fishing is still holding up remarkably well, and you don’t have to travel a dozen miles west any more. The fish have moved closer to  the point and even the half day boats are doing well with good size fish.

Striped bass fishing is also very good. For the last couple of years we had somewhat of a lull in the bass fishing in mid summer, but it hasn’t happened yet, and if it hasn’t happened by now it probably won’t. The average size of the fish being caught is still up there too.

Offshore the tuna fishing is a little disappointing. Apparently there are still some bluefins over by the Fairway Buoy, but not many and it is easier to not catch one than to be successful. Offshore what yellowfins there are are on the small side, and no sign of any longfins at all. The most yellowfins are around the 400 line, but the better size fish, along with bigeyes are south of the edge. There are a surprising amount of white marlin out there.

Shark fishing is still on the slow side, since there are few blue sharks around. But there are makos and threshers, so if you catch a shark, it’s probably going to be the right type.  

8/11/08

 

Star Island held it’s mako/thresher Mania tournament over the weekend. It had about 40 participating boats which is a little below normal, but all the tournaments were smaller this year. There were also a half dozen “shark huggers” hanging around on the grass triangle at the entrance to the causeway, as well as the plane dragging the  "Stop the Cruel Shark Tournaments"banner. The results were a little surprising since most years the makos caught run around 150 pounds orso. The results are as follows;
1st Place Mako - 256 lbs - GREAT ESCAPE
2nd Place Mako - 181 lbs - SUSIE E
3rd Place Mako - 131 lbs - LAURALINE
1st Place Thresher - 348 lbs - THE KID
2nd Place Thresher - 178 lbs - VOLATILITY

Overall, the shark fishing is on the slow side, since the blue sharks have pretty much left. So you are pretty much fishing for makos, with maybe a thresher or some kind of exotic like a hammerhead or tiger.

Tuna fishing has gone into the crapper. The bluefins that were hanging around southeast of Block Island are pretty much gone. There are still occasional fish being caught, but don’t count on it. Out near the edge you might be able to catch a yellowfin or two, but you need to keep a ruler handy. Of course you could also catch nothing as I did on Tuesday. That day, listening to the radio, it seems like there were more marlin and big eyes caught than yellowfins, not that there were that many of those. Longfins have yet to make an appearance.

 

Inshore the fluke fishing is off the charts. We all thought that we would have a hard time due to the regs, but this week the charter boats were coming back with limits. And don’t forget a keeper is around 4 pounds or so. Most of the action is on the south side around New Grounds or the Parachute Jump.

 

The striped bass fishing isn’t what it was, but it is still pretty good especially when you consider the size of the fish being caught. Most of the fish are either short or 25 pounds and up. Bluefish have been a bit of a problem though.

8/4/08

 

The offshore fishing is getting more interesting every day.

The school bluefins over at the Gully have been cooperating a bit. I made the trip this past week for five of them around 30-35 pounds, but I saw an awful lot of them that didn’t want to eat. One school was about the size of a baseball diamond. In addition to trolling I shut down and threw a popper into them and another time tried a diamond jig without drawing a hit.

The shark fishing seems to be a mako or two or nothing, although a couple of boats reported a blue shark, but not enough that you could count on catching one. Star Island is holding there Mako/Thresher Mania tournament on this Friday and Saturday.

Offshore there are reports of occasional bigeyes, with a steadier pick of yellowfins and big mahi. But, it seems like you have to get out at least to the 400 line. There are no temperature breaks to aim for, so just head out and throw them in when you get far enough out. And, keep your ruler handy because a lot of the fins are on the small side. 

The striped bass fishing is holding up very nicely, with 25-30 pound fish making up the bulk of the catches. Most of the charter boats are trolling now, even though the porgies are working well. It’s too much work to catch legal porgies. It would be a lot easier if the “Green Guys” weren’t being so diligent.

The fluke fishing is also holding up surprisingly well, with plenty of shorts for the action and enough keepers that you can be fairly confident of coming home with a meal or two. Sunday I finally saw a bunch of boats fishing at New Grounds. Apparently the MARLIN PRINCESS was fishing down there most of the week and he finally started to draw some fans along with him.

From LAZYBONESW

Mon. A.M. we had the pool at 6 lbs. won by Chris Smith

Tues.A.M.  saw decent fishing with sea bass mixed in. The pool went to Lauren Schroeder with her fish at 6 1/2 lbs. and Nancy Cutrofello had one at 4 1/4 lbs. P.M. trip had 8 keepers with Steve Hanstein winning the pool with his fish at 6 1/2 lbs.

Wed. A.M. was a good trip with 19 keepers coming over the rails. Mike Haupt won the pool with a 7.10 lber. and also had 2 other keepers. His wife Christine had a nice 6.4 lber. and a very skilled Steve Hanstein had 4 keepers up to 5 lbs. P.M. trip yielded 12 keepers and the pool fish went to Paul Bonifacic with a fish at 5 lbs.

Thurs. A.M. saw lots of action, but slow keeper wise. Pool fish was tied with a 4 lber. caught by Christine Haupt and Andrea Armet. P.M. trip was excellent action wise but slow on the keepers. Fri. A.M. had 14 keepers and Mike Haupt won the pool again with a beauty at 8 lbs. His wife Christine had a 6 lber. and  Mary O'Donnell also had a 6 lber.

Sat. A.M. had 14 keepers and Patrick Bacaris back from Greece, landed a 9 1/2 lb. beauty, and Tom McMahon, always a bridesmaid and never a bride, had an 8 lber. P.M. trip came in early due to t-storms.

Sun. A.M. had 7  nice keepers  with Ben Vacula copping the pool with his fish at 6 lbs.

7/28/08

 

Shark fishing is now at what I call “one bite” fishing, and a couple of boats this past week had no bites and came back “shark dummies”. There is a lack of bluesharks, so what you are fishing for are mainly makos and threshers, and you just don’t catch one on every trip.

Apparently there are some school bluefins being caught southeast of Block Island by Rhode Island boats, but I don’t know of any Montauk charter boat that is going to go looking for them, or even go shark fishing that far away. Out on the edge, there are some yellowfins being taken by boats that were willing to head out there in the crappy conditions as well as occasional bigeyes. A private boat out of Star Island got one over two hundred pounds out of the five that crashed his lures.

Inshore the striped bass fishing is pretty damn good, with a great cull. Many, many fish of 25-35 pounds are being taken with some larger ones thrown in. The trolling boats seem to be catching the most, but those using porgies tend to catch fewer but larger fish. The guys tagging bass are having a hard time of it. They are limited to fish between 24” - 36”, and naturally they would prefer to catch the larger ones. But, the only ones around that fit into the slot are of the smaller variety.

Fluke fishing consists of plenty of action with enough keepers around for most everybody to be able to have a nice dinner. Hopefully the DEC won’t pull another trick like last year and close the season early.

The charter boat business sucks. Check around the docks on a Saturday and everyone is out. Sunday maybe half the boats are out. During the week it’s like a morgue. I was speaking to one captain who, except for weather, hasn’t missed a day in August in ten years. As of now he has a dozen or so open dates in August, and is unlikely to book most of them. A top booking charter boat will typically book most of his dates a couple of months in advance, and doesn’t get many shortnotice trips.

From LAZYBONES:

Mon.A.M. had Dave Harrison win the pool with his fish at 6.7 lbs. and Kelly Pallidino out fished her husband and landed a nice 5 lber. P.M. trip saw Andy Chiodi win the pool with a fish at 6 lbs. Tues. A.M. had Frank Agostino leading withhis fish at 6 lbs. P.M. trip saw a mixed bag of porgies and sea bass and Mike Young had pool honors with a fish at  5 1/2lbs. Wed. A.M. had MaryBeth Vanacore take home the pool and two nice fish at 4 1/2 and 4 lbs. P.M. trip saw a tied pool with each fish at 5 lbs. Poll winners were Darrell Wassil and Peter Link. Thurs. A.M. had Patrick Lynch cop thepool with his fish at 5 lbs. P.M. no sail due to weather. Fri. A.M. had 10 keepers come over the rails and Chris Beatty took pool honors with his fish at 5 1/2 lbs. P.M. trip had son of T.C.G., Paul Young with a beauty at 7 lbs. and Ed Yankowski had a 12 lb. striped bass. Sat. A.M. had Anthony Nino cop the pool with a fish at 6 1/4 lbs. and TomMcMahon just missed out with his fish at 6 lbs. P.M. trip had T.C.G. win the pool with his fish at 5 1/4 lbs..

7/21/08

The shark fishing has slowed down dramatically, and it’s not surprising with the temperatures in the Butterfish Hole in the mid to upper 70’s. Blue sharks don’t like it that warm, but it’s OK for the makos. But you normally don’t catch a mako everyday.

The warm water probably ensures that we won’t be seeing anymore bluefins around, although I understand there are some showing up occasionally out to the east. With fuel prices the way they are no charter boat is likely to go far enough in that direction to run into them.

Out on the edge there was a good hit on the yellowfins early last week, but by the weekend the best I heard about were a couple of fish per boat, fishing in some sloppy seas. There were some bigeyes taken ten miles or so south of the Dip.

Inshore the bass fishing is kind of spectacular, at least as far as quality is concerned. Live porgies, big tubes and chutes are taking a real nice class of fish every day, with most of the action off North Bar.  

Fluke fishing is great, with enough keepers being taken to keep hope alive, and occasional days when lots of eating class fish are taken.

From the LAZYBONES:

Still the same old story! There are some many throwbacks it's disheartening. Mon. A.M. saw 14 keepers and tons of throwbacks just missing by a 1/4 of an inch. Mike Razny had the pool with his fish at 6 lbs. and the Jensen Patterson girls rule group had 4 nice keepers up to 4 1/2 lbs. P.M. trip some nice size keepers and the pool went to Jackson Jarboe with his fish at 6 1/4 lbs. Tues. A.M. had keepers up to 6 1/4 lbs. and Bucktail Richie had that pool honor. >Tues. P.M. had Ryan Long win the pool with his fish at 7 3/4 lbs. and 9 y/o Margo French had a 5 lber. Wed. all day was slow keeper wise. Thurs. A.M. had pool fish up to 51/2  with Joe Mandaro winning the pot. P.M. had the pool going to Matt Kirsh with a 5 lber. Fri. P.M. we had 10 nice size keepers with our very own Andy " SMURF" Chiodi and his fish tipping the scales with a beauty at 10.1 lbs. and Tom McMahon had 3 keepers at 6 1/2, 51/2 and 5 lbs. Sat.P.M. had 10 keepers again and Harold Kahn had 4 of them and limiting out. His pool fish was a 6 lber. Sun.A.M. saw some nice fish come over the rails and quite a few sea bass. Pool winner was Jan Bendernagel, second year in a row, and beating out her two brothers, with a fish at 5.9 lbs. and Tom McMahon had his fish at 5.6 lbs. P.M. trip yielded 10 keepers with the pool being tied between Don Nickel and Sara Diaz at 5 1/4 lber.

7/14/08

 

It’s starting to get a little interesting offshore. Last week on the MONTAUK a white shark ate a small blueshark that they were fighting. Then on Thursday on the JOYSEA another white tried to eat a 200 pound mako that they were in the process of boating. I always equate a lot of white sharks with whales, since they are not very common if there are no whales around. And, there are whales around. They are being seen every day just to the east of the inside Butterfish Hole along with porpoise and birds feeding. Whales need a lot to eat, and if they are around, there’s a good chance that if some tuna wander by they are likely to stay. I have tried dragging some plastics a couple of times while going sharking, but all I’ve caught were bluefish.  

I’ve heard of a couple of second-hand reports of some nice yellowfins being taken out on the edge. It’s hard to get a gauge on that since it seems like the guys willing to spend the $$$ to go out there are few and far between.

The shark fishing is continuing to be excellent with most boats hooking up with 10-12 bluesharks per trip, with makos and threshers always a real possibility. On Friday the WAKE had a bunch of blues along with what I call summer makos, three of them, all out of the same mold, about five feet long. On the same day the VENTURE had a bunch of blues along with a hammerhead and a brownie.

A couple of dozen boats signed up for the MBCA’s Charity Shark Tournament, less that hoped for, but enough to ensure some scholarship money for four local kids. The folks along with their kids that showed up to see the sharks being weighed had to exhibit a lot of patience when the first shark didn’t show up until nearly 5 pm. Sunday was also slow until around 4 pm. The results are as follows;

ARC ANGEL - BLUESHARK - 275 LBS
ALYSSA ANN - THRESHER - 226 LBS
SEA WIFE - BLUESHARK - 224 LBS

Inshore there’s nothing to complain about either. Fluke fishing continues steady with more keepers being caughteveryday than I thought we’d be able to catch. Of course that probably means that the regs will be even more stringent next year, since we’re going to be over our quota once again.

Striped bass fishing continues excellent as well, with a much better class of fish showing up. More boats are using the big tubes when trolling and more are using the porgies as well, taking a pass on the smaller fish that are also around in abundance.

Simon Winterburn, the mate on the ADIOS learned a little about the dangers of shark fishing on Saturday. He was wiring a blueshark that did a bit of a roll on him, grabbing him by the upper arm. Nothing that thirty some stitches couldn’t cure,but he did have to buy a large bottle of Tylenol before his Sunday morning trip.

Pete Fagan, who mated on the HERL’S GIRL, never woke up on Sunday morning. He apparently had a heart attack and passed away at 57 years old. Get out and have some fun while you can. You never know.

7/7/08

 

The biggest change in the fishing this week was the July 1 start of the commercial bass season. All of a sudden it looked like the charter business was picking up, but only because a lot of guys started using up their tags. Normally they don’t start doing that until late summer or fall, but these aren’t normal times.

Both the bass fishing and fluke fishing are up and down. You can always catch lots of short fluke, but catching something to eat is a different matter. One day it’s good and the next it’s not, but there are some real nice fish around when you do find them. Bass fishing is similar in that one day it’s a lot of shorts and you have to scratch for some keepers and the next day there are plenty of keepers.

Some guys have started using the porgies, but that’s not a sure answer. If you use legal porgies, it takes a pretty nice size bass to be able to eat it, and there are not that many around. Of course you could use short baits, but “they’re watching”  

The “surf sharpies” have been doing pretty good with the big bass. Gary “The Toad” Stephens took a 54.80 pound bass and Paul “the Skisher” took one of 38 pounds over the weekend.

Getting offshore info is tough because so few offshore charters are being booked, but I have yet to hear of anyone being a “shark dummy” and most are still catching at least a half dozen bluesharks per trip with an occasional mako or thresher popping up as well.

The MBCA tournament is being held this Saturday and Sunday out of Star Island Yacht Club. This event is non profit, with the proceeds being passed along to local college students. If you have nothing  to do, stop by and buy a tee shirt.

A couple of private boats made the run to the edge over the weekend, with hardly anything to show for it. 

From the BLUEFIN IV: The most interesting trip on the this week was on Wednesday.  We set out with a father and son, and a grandfather, son and grandson trip.  First, 7 year old Charlie caught a 38 and an 18 lb Striper.  Others caught blues and small bass.  We had to drop-off  one father son combo because they didn't feel well.  We headed back out at 8am and set out a shark slick about 18 miles from the Point. Soon, Charlie caught a 150 lb Blue Shark ! Austin took the next bite.  After two cartwheeling jumps (one was so near the boat that he threw bluefish pieces all over the bow), we boated a 209 lb MAKO.  David, Charlie's father, hooked a 200 lb. Blue Shark.  As we were releasing it, Charlie thought he spotted more sharks, but is was 20 porpoises that hung around while we got ready to go in !!

 

6/30/08

 

The Montauk Marine Basin had their shark tournament over the weekend, and no shark huggers showed up to show their displeasure. There were eighty boats entered, and I guess they didn’t think that was enough to cause the sharks to go extinct.

The main body of the bluesharks has apparently moved out to the east, with the most I heard of being released on a boat was around a dozen, with most having less action than that. Friday a blueshark of 322 pounds was winning, but on Saturday the threshers took over. The results are as follows;

1st place  - FUGGED ABOUT IT - 465 lbs thresher

2nd place - VISTA - 376 lbs thresher

3rd place - FIESTA - 333 lbs thresher

1st place mako - DIGGIN IT II - 324 lbs

2nd place mako - FISH N CHICKS - 208 lbs

3rd place mako - ULTIMATE - 178 lbs

There are still some schoolie bluefins being seen and occasionally caught, mostly on the east side of the Butterfish Hole. But it wasn’t a schoolie that engulfed the WEGO’s kite bait on Friday. They fought a 600-700 pounder for a couple of hours before breaking it off.

Inshore the fishing is up and down . Saturday the bass fishing was great with the charter boats having a fairly easy time getting their limit. Sunday was a different story, with plenty of action but with smaller fish and a half limit more the norm. Fluking is pretty much the same with lots of shorts interspersed with small nests of keepers, some as big as ten pounds.

Seabass are a little rare. Some nice ones are mixed in with the fluke, but if you go looking for them you wind up with doggies, and even when the doggie action isn’t enough to chase you, the seabass just aren’t thick enough.

I stopped by one of the charter boats on Saturday when I saw the captain in the engine room. I asked how the fish were treating him and he said “the fishing is better than the business” I guess the guys that own their house and boat free and clear will be alright, but I’d hate to be in the business with a mortgage and boat payment to make.

New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that he is suing the feds over the fluke regs. He’s trying to get standardized regs up and down the coast instead of what we have now wherein we have a limit of four fluke at 20.5 inches whereas Jersey has a limit of eight fish at eighteen inches. For more info go to http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2008/june/june23b_08.html

6/23/08

 

The shark fishing right now is like it was in the old days when we spoke about “Festivals”. That was when you threw the bag in the water and all of a sudden you were surrounded with blue sharks, like that painting of the guy in the dory. There are some makos and threshers to be had as well, if the anglers don’t get worn out reeling in the blues.

There have been some of those “Chamber of Commerce” bluefins sighted here and there along the 800 line, but it seems like nobody cares. Not at a one per boat limit. Early in the week there was some warm water at the “Tails” and some small yellowfins were taken.

Inshore it’s the same as it has been, with enough bass around to keep the charter clients (which are kind of few) happy, but not many fish of any size. Fluke fishing is continuing pretty good, but you have to cull through the shorts. But if you stick it out you’ll be able to scratch out some meals.

On Saturday I got tired of catching short fluke, so I took a little ride outside to look for some seabass. I didn’t have much luck, except for some small ones, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there were very few doggies around. Earlier in the week they were all over the place as far inside as the North Rips. I hope this doesn’t jinx it.

This weekend the Montauk Marine Basin is holding their shark tournament. There will probably be around 80-100 boats, and should come in with some decent fish. But not a word about it to the “shark huggers”, OK?

6/16/08

 

The Star Island tournament was over the weekend, and the fishing was pretty good, real good for bluesharks, with a lot of boats getting two dozen to the boat each day. The tournament normally has around 250 boats in it, but this year there was a little less than two hundred.

The results are as follows;

1st Place Overall - REEL CRAZY II - 353 lbs Thresher
1st Place Mako - PREDATOR - 241 lbs
2nd Place Mako - LADY FIN - 230 lbs
3rd Place Mako - BLUEFIN - 222 lbs
1st Place Blueshark - MY MATE - 264 lbs
2nd Place Blueshark - BREAKAWAY - 256 lbs
1st Place Other - REEL CRAZY II - 353 lbs Thresher
2nd Place Other - WHY KNOT - 298 lbs Thresher

The largest shark caught, a four hundred something tiger was late to the scales and disqualified. I thought they were protected but I was wrong, and am glad I was. Imagine the uproar from the shark huggers it some bloodthirsty shark hunter brought back a shark that they could say was actually on the endangered list.

Inshore the fishing is good, except when it comes to culling out keeper fluke from the throwbacks. Its pretty discouraging to have to throw back three pounders when Jersey boats can keep fish half that size. I travel over Hither Hills to get to the boat I run every day and its surprising how few boats are fishing on the south side. Going west I can see any boats fishing at New Ground off the campsite or at the Parachute Drop. So far this year I saw two boats at the Drop on one day, and just over the weekend one boat at New Ground. Coming back to the east, I can see any boats fishing as far east as Frisbies, and rarely do I see more than one or two. Those are prime fluke grounds, but I suspect the cost of the fuel is affecting how far anyone wants to travel.

Striped bass fishing is pretty good as well, but there seem to be quite a few shorts around, so there is some culling in that fishery as well.

The surf guys seem to be doing pretty well with the bass, at least the “sharpies” are. Paulies held its first spring bass tournament over the weekend. George Lang won a Van Staal 250 reel with a 38.48 lb bass. His son Brian took a 52.72 lb bass but was not in the tournament.

6/9/08

Saturday 2 pm; New York Central Park 92 degrees; Montauk Airport 71 degrees; Marshall’s Gas Station, You pump regular $4.88/gallon; Montauk Marine Basin, gas $4.69/gallon, diesel $5.29/ gallon. Sunday we lost the little breeze and the temperature maxed out in Montauk at 84 degrees

Generally Friday is the second most popular day of the week for charters. Noon Friday I stopped by Star Island Yacht Club to see what was going on. Of the dozen or more boats lined up at the charterboat section, three were out. The rest were all closed up. When I ran my charterboat, everything revolved around the boat. If I wasn’t fishing, I’d still spend a good portion of the day on the boat doing maintenance of some sort. Then of course there was always the possibility of some tourist wandering by who wanted to go fishing. It’s not like that anymore. Now all the captains have so much free time, there is nothing to do on the boat, and tourists wanting to go fishing; Fuggedaboutit.

Next weekend is the Star Island Yacht Club shark tournament, and it looks like the "shark huggers" will be out again waving their signs. There was a full page article in Sunday’s News about the protest. Last year all they could get was a paid ad in the East Hampton Star, so with the added exposure there will probably be more than a half dozen protesters. Shark meat has always been donated to some organization, but now that organization will not be accepting it, supposedly because of the mercury levels.

Paulies Tackle Shop is having a surf type striped bass tournament next week as well, the firs that will probably become an annual event. Give him a call at 631 668 5520 for more info.

The Blessing of the Fleet was held yesterday, sort of. About ten minutes into the blessing a squall came up with forty knots and six foot seas, so the Coast Guard told everyone to go home. The gods were probably unhappy about the new edict regarding water balloons. Balloons in the water are now considered pollution, and if thrown could get you ticketed.

The Montauk Triathalon was held Saturday, and the organizers have to be complimented. At 7 am, West Lake Drive was a mad house, with everyone getting ready to blast off. At 1 pm I drove by again and the only indication that anything had gone on was the half dozen porta potties and the snow fence around the triangle at the entrance to Star Island. And not a paper cup or directional sign to be found anywhere along the route.

I know some of you do some fishing outside the country. Last week, a Tropical Storm Alma hit Quepos Costa Rica. The storm then went northward into the Caribbean and became Tropical Storm Arthur. Quepos has no marina, and a lot of the boats headed up river to escape the storm, but that was bad idea. A log came down in the flood and wiped out one boat, which then proceeded down river into other boats. The end result was a couple of dozen boats getting carried out the river mouth and ten of them sinking. Here are some scary pictures from Capt Chris(KINEMBE) Bernstel.

 

I guess you are also interested in what the fishing is like. I heard of two boats that went after sharks on the weekend, but they both made the same mistake; they didn’t go far enough. The first sharks are always caught in forty fathoms and these two guys only went out about fifteen and twenty miles. One had a bluefish bite and one loaded up on doggies. I’m sure the boats fishing for dollars next weekend won’t make that mistake. Inshore the fluke fishing is holding up, even though you have to fish through a lot of shorts in order to keep a half dozen or so to eat. The striped bass fishing got a little delicate this past week, with most of the half day charters only able to bring back six to eight fish. All day boats were taking their limits, but had to cut down on the fluke fishing time to do it.

 

 

6/2/08

 

Fishing is pretty damn good right now, both for stripers and fluke, as well as bluefish.

The charter boats are all regularly catching their limits with most fish in the 12-25 pound range. The good old chartreuse parachute is still the favorite method, but diamond jigs are working as well. There are bluefish all over the place and to catch them all you have to do is look for the birds, or even the bluefish themselves swirling on the surface. Occasionally the bass are hanging out under the blues.

Fluke fishing is better than fluke eating, thanks to the 20.5 inch minimum size, but there seems to be an increasing amount of keepers around as well. I spoke to Mike on the BONES early in the week while he was fueling up and he spoke of catching a hundred or so flatties a trip but only keeping four or five. The ratio improved somewhat over the weekend.

Sunday morning I took a little spin to the Lighthouse just to see how many boats were out, and it was a little depressing. The weather was about as good as it gets, but I couldn’t see more than two dozen boats fishing. Thats reflected in the way the party boats are carrying as well, with BONES, probably the most popular of them averaging about fifteen fares per trip. The charter boats are setting any records either, except maybe negative ones.

The surf casters are doing pretty good too, with lots of bluefish on the sand beaches, and some of the sharpies drilling out some nice bass at night. Paulies Tackle Shop has a striped bass tournament coming up on Fathers Day weekend.

From the MY MATE: Sundays morning trip resulted in a limit of bass to 25 pounds by eight in the morning, so they finished out the trip with about 25 fluke, keeping four.

From the LAZYBONES: Sundays morning trip resulted in fourteen keepers up to nine pounds.

 

5/27/08

I don’t think we could have asked for a better Memorial Day weekend, at least as far a the weather is concerned, although it was a bit breezy on Monday.

I got the boat I run in the water on Saturday and spent the weekend getting it ready to fish. The boat is docked at Devon Yacht Club, which is in the southwest corner of Gardiner’s Bay. Coming down the hill back to Montauk at this time of year I always get a little kick seeing all the fluke boats fishing off Ditch Plains and Frisbies. Saturday I counted a dozen boats and Sunday fifteen. Other years the count would probably be about a hundred or so.

I suspect the main reason for the lack of boats is the cost of fuel. At the Montauk Marine Basin it is $4.61 for gas and $5.21 for diesel. But the state of the fluke fishing probably contributes to it as well. It’s really not real good right now. From the Radar west it seems like there are only shorts, enough for a little enjoyment, but not for dinner. Eastward out to Great Eastern or so, there are some keepers, but not a lot of fish, so you have to choose whether you want fun or food.

PS: In case you were wondering, the doggies are here as well, at least if you fish more than a mile or so off the beach.

Bass fishing on the other hand is wonderful, with most charter boats getting their limits on every trip. And there are some big ones around as well. Early in the week the HERL’S GIRL had a 47 pounder. Capt Dave Kohlus on the HOOKER brought his new boat, a 48’ Rybovich to town during the week and on his first trip brought back a 56 pound bass.

Every fall the MBCA gets together and decides what the charter rates should be for the upcoming season. Last fall diesel was going for around $4 and it was decided that the rate for a half day trip would be $575. Now the price of diesel is at $5.21 and climbing, so most boats are charging $600. To give you an idea of how the price of fuel might effect a charter; a boat fishing for fluke around the Radar Stand that hears the fish are biting heavy at the Parachute Jump will have to do a little hard thinking before making that run. It will cost about $100 in fuel to get there and back.

From the BARBARA ANN: Saturday am, the Jim Huether party diamond jig action was none stop, taking their limit of Stripe Bass, then finishing the morning off with 4 keeper Fluke. Sunday the Donald Miller trip limited out with Bass and Blues. Lori Miller had 4lb. and a 6lb Fluke to finish off the morning.

 

5/19/08

 

The striped bass and fluke fishing is off to a great start, with enough of both to go around.

The bass are mostly around 10-12 pounds with an occasional fish pushing twenty pounds, but just about all the charter  boats have been coming in with their limits. There are also a lot of bluefish around, but for those who want bass they are fairly easy to avoid. Just don’t go near the birds. The fishing has been with the good old chartreuse parachutes.

Fluke are concentrated on the south side with most boats fishing off the Radar stand. There are plenty of shorts, with enough keepers mixed in to keep up the interest. The party boat pool winners have usually been around six pounds or so. Unlike the bass fishing where weather doesn’t much matter, a slow or fast drift or big swells can effect the fluke bite.

From the MARLIN VI PRINCESS: Fishing on Friday was great. With only 5 fares Capt. Eddie did not hold back. Conditions for fishing were great and everyone on the boat limited out.

From MISTRESS TOO: On Friday’s all day trip, the Charde group had their limit of Stripers as well as twenty fluke up to 28

From the HERLS GIRL: On Saturday afternoon the Blanco party caught their limit of bass up to 20 pounds.

 

5/12/08

 

LAZYBONES claimed that he wasn’t going to do any flounder fishing in the lake this year since it has been so lousy the last couple of years. But, some friends were BS’ing with him at the boat one nice day and he decided to give it a shot, just for something to do. And they caught some fish, so over the weekend he sailed a couple of trips and caught what amounted to a couple of years worth of flounders.

And, speaking of flounders I hear that there are an awful lot of them over at Block Island’s Hooter Buoy.

HERLS GIRL made the first trip of the season on Saturday and brought back a dozen nice stripers, all between fifteen and twenty pounds. That’s a pretty good start.

Fluke season starts on the fifteenth, and it should start out pretty good also. The pinhookers have been doing very well, catching fifty or so fish per trip, with about a third of them qualifying as legal fish. They are held to a max of 70 pounds per day.

The  pressure is off on the TWIC cards. The regs were just changed, and they won’t be required until mid April of 2009. If they had decided that two weeks ago I could have saved the $20 that I lost to the Indians. 

From the LAZYBONES: “Got out Sat. A.M. and caught 10 keeper flounders in Lake Montauk. High hook was Greg Ferdinand with 4 flatties. P.M. trip produced 6 keepers and they bit on mussels and worms. Sun. A.M. had 5 keepers in the Lake with the bait being the same as yesterday. All in all, not to shabby for flounder fishing. It was good to finally see some sort of a come back.”

 

4/28/08

We had a nice little bit of global warming this past week, and I made the best of it by heading over to New London to get TWIC’ed. I had pre-enrolled online and made an appointment for this Friday, but got the dates screwed up and thought it was for this past Friday, so I went over without an appointment, and it was no big deal. I took the slow ferry from Orient Point and walked about a half a mile to the office. When I got there, one guy was just finishing up and there was no one else in the office, and it took about ten minutes. While we were waiting for a taxi to take us to donate to the Indians, a truck driver showed up only to find that he was lacking something and couldn’t get taken care of. My wife and I made a day of it, and if you want to do that, Foxwoods is $35 by taxi and Mohegan Sun is $20.

If you just go over and take care of business, there is a ferry about every hour, and it costs less than $25, round trip. I was told by some guys who went over before me to get there early. Wrong!. I spoke to the TWIC guy and he said that there is a line waiting around 8:00 am, but by mid morning you can usually walk in and walk out in fifteen minutes. No waiting.

It makes it easier if you pre-enroll online, but that will only save you a couple of minutes. You need to bring your captains license (not a photocopy) and proof of citizenship like a passport or birth certificate (the real thing, not a photocopy). You also need a government issued photo identification, like a driver license (a passport serves as proof of citizenship and photo I D). You can only pay with a Visa, Mastercard, certified check or money order. No cash or personal checks.

They’ll notify me when I can get my card, in approximately six to eight weeks and the I can arrange to pick it up in Riverhead if that office is open by then. You don’t have to have it until September 25, so I’m going to wait until Riverhead does open even if it a couple of months late.

Fishing has been pretty decent for the few boats that have been sailing regularly, namely the BLUEFIN IV, CAPT MARK & SEAWIFE. They have been doing OK with the cod and blackfish, but the season on blackfish ends today.

It’s obvious that the fluke are in. All you have to do is take a look at the draggers off the south side. I understand some have also been caught by guys with commercial fluke permits. The stripers have started showing up as well. I hear that there have been some shorties taken on the sand beaches to the west of town. Also, apparently there are some squid at Rough Riders, but that’s private property, and if it gets too crowded access will be denied to anyone who doesn’t live there, or have an in.

I forgot to mention another charter boat that will be up for sale soon. Capt Dave Kohlus spent the winter in Florida getting his new ride in shape. It’s a 48’ Rybovich, which will replace the HOOKER his 41’ Whittaker. The new head boat that will be replacing the SEA OTTER is Capt Jamie Quaresmino’s. I think it is called the MISS MONTAUK, and is the old VIKING STARLITE. It will be sailing all day trips, probably starting around mid May when the fluke season starts.

 

From the BLUEFIN IV (http://www.bluefiniv.com/)
Had one of the local landscaper groups out on Thursday again. Tried several rockpiles between Montauk and Block Island. Got a few on most pieces. Three anglers (and 2 crew) kept their limit of 20 good size Blackfish. Many were 6 to 8 lbs.

 

April 13, 2008

 

Spring is finally in the air, and I’m back.

Cod fishing is still pretty good, best it’s been in a number of years. Not as good as it was earlier, when it was nothing short of fantastic, but good enough that unless conditions just plain suck, you are going to be able to catch enough cod to keep just about anyone happy, plus lots and lots of ling. There are still only a couple of charter boats sailing, namely BLUEFIN IV, CAPT MARK, SEA WIFE, LORI JAY & HURRY UP, but the boat yards are coming to life and every day a couple more are going into the water. The VIKING, MARLIN VI PRINCESS & SEA OTTER are also sailing on a limited schedule. You’ll have to call them to find out when.

The federal government has come up with a new way to help you out. If you are a licensed captain, as of September 25 you will have to have a TWIC. That’s not one of those chocolate covered wafer candy bars, but an official identification card. It is going to be issued by the same folks that make you take off your shoes at the airports. And, whether you think it’s a good idea (yeah right!) or a bad one, if you want to be a licensed captain you are going to get it. The Coastie in charge of licensing in Manhattan was out to the MBCA meeting on Saturday going over everything, and as he put it if you don’t have your TWIC on September 25, on September 26 you don’t have your captains license. That doesn’t mean somebody is going to come out and rip it off your wall, but it does mean that when you go to renew your license, you will have to start all over with the tests, just like a first time applicant.

It costs either $105 or $132, depending on whether you get one that terminates in fiveyears or one that terminates on your license renewal date. And, it is a two stage process. Stage one you go in, get fingerprinted, pay the $$$, and apply for it. Stage two you go in and get it. Right now, there are two locations convenient? to us, the Battery or New London. They are threatening to open one in Riverhead by mid July, but this is the US government we are talking about, and I’ll believe that when I see it. Apparently it will take about a month to receive it after you have applied, so it doesn’t make much sense to wait for Riverhead, because if it doesn’t open on time you will have to make two trips to the city or Connecticut during the heart of the season.

There is a website about the program at www.tsa.gov/twic and you can pre enroll there as well. But that doesn’t save you a trip. Rather, you fill out your information and then you will get an appointment to go in for Stage One. You can just go in cold, but then you are on the end of the line. You may be the next person waiting on line, but if a half dozen people show up with appointments, you are going to have to wait until they are done.

The MBCA is looking into getting the TSA to make a special trip to Montauk to sign everybody up, which they will do if the number of applicants is sufficient. If that doesn’t happen, the association will probably arrange for a group trip to New London. I’ll keep you informed.

The LAZYBONES going in the water is what usually prompts me to send out the first report of the year, and that usually is around the time that some flounders start getting caught. But not this year. Bones won’t be in until around May 1. They’re passing up on the flounders because of lack of fish. They only caught three fish in each of the past two years. That’s not per day. That’s total for all the trips they sailed.

The road between Hampton Bays and Southampton is now two lanes in both directions, which I’m sure sounds great to all you guys from up-island. Now the logjam starts at the Seven-Eleven and runs up to Watermill.

Right now the boats are paying almost $4.50/gallon for diesel. I just looked back through last years bills, and at the end of the year, I paid $3.27/gallon. Last fall the association came up with suggested rates for this season based on the fuel costs then. I don’t see how they can stick with those prices, so I expect to see them adding a fuel surcharge to the cost of their trips. That way if the fuel prices come down, shortly after pigs fly, they can drop the cost of the charters.

It looks like the SEA OTTER will be leaving Montauk for Connecticut sometime around mid May, when the fluke fishing starts. There are rumors another boat will be taking the slip over, but it’s pretty vague right now. But for now the boat is still sailing cod trips.

It looks like the fluke regs are going to be four fish per person at 20-1/2”, starting May 15, but it isn’t official yet. Last year it was four fish at 19-1/2”, and was supposed to be open all year, but was closed early because we were too good at catching them. However, there can be a big problem with these regs, because unless something changes in the basic fluke regulations, we may be under a fluke moratorium in 2009. I don’t think anyone is under the impression that we won’t catch too many fish again this season again, and the Feds have indicated that if we can’t stay within our quota, they will close it all down.

There are always a couple of boats for sale out here, and if you are interested the DAYBREAKER is still for sale. I thought that would’ve sold fairly quickly, because it’s bear of a boat. Capt Billy Campbell’s CHASER is also for sale, and if you talk real sweet to Capt Wayne King, he can probably be convinced to sell the KING WAYNE. It’s an over six wooden boat that would make someone a great starter open boat.

I’ll start posting weekly reports in a couple more weeks, after the fluke and bass fishing get started.